Old and new mix at Waterfront Cebu

The sun is out, summer beckons. Its siren call reaches fever pitch levels, making it hard to ignore the desire to travel and soak in new experiences. If you ever find yourself visiting the Queen City of the South during this period of wanderlust, you may want to consider making Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino as your home base.

Located a mere 35 minutes away from the airport, the hard-to-miss hotel with its mini turrets towers over downtown Cebu. Stepping into its grand lobby is like sailing into a world of its own. Its sheer size is a sight to behold An old world map with images depicting the long, colorful history of Cebu dominates a part of its ceiling.

LOOK UP. A detail from the ceiling mural that greets guests at the hotelu00e2u0080u0099s main lobby.

LOOK UP. A detail from the ceiling mural that greets guests at the hotelu00e2u0080u0099s main lobby.

The hotel, which recently celebrated its 20th year anniversary with a Great Gatsby-themed party, has 561 well-appointed rooms. Though the rooms need a bit of updating to keep up with the times, it is spacious and does not skimp on what is truly important: making sure your stay in the hotel is as comfortable as possible.

WATERFRONT CEBU'S ROOMS. Comfort and space when you need it the most.

WATERFRONT CEBU'S ROOMS. Comfort and space when you need it the most.

Gastronomically, Waterfront Cebu features 9 specialty restaurants that cater to practically anything you might crave for. Among the standouts are Mizu for their excellent Japanese fare and the award-winning Tin Gow specializing in Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine. There is of course, Uno’s requisite buffet featuring international dishes for the palate that wants to taste it all.

BREAD STATION. Just one of the many food choices at Unou00e2u0080u0099s buffet.

BREAD STATION. Just one of the many food choices at Unou00e2u0080u0099s buffet.

SUSHI. Mizu serves excellent Japanese food, a feast for the eyes and the tongue alike.

SUSHI. Mizu serves excellent Japanese food, a feast for the eyes and the tongue alike.

The hotel is fiercely proud of the culinary skills of its kitchen crew, so much so that an Iron Chef competition will be held in July this year pitting their own international chefs against each other.

No stranger to hosting large-scale conventions and many of Cebu’s glitzy goings-on, the property is loaded with the finest amenities this side of town. 

The lobby is home to a Duty Free shop and a Victoria’s Secret making shopping for luxury items a breeze. For those who prefer to take their chances with Lady Luck may opt to roll the dice at the 19th century-themed Casino Filipino. 

TIMELESS AT 20. WCCHC celebrates a milestone anniversary.

TIMELESS AT 20. WCCHC celebrates a milestone anniversary.

Fitness enthusiasts will be happy to note that the hotel has a well-equipped 24-hour gym that even offers dance classes, among others. Belly dancing, anyone? And of course, there’s a swimming pool with a separate wading area for the little kids.  

SPLASH AROUND. The kiddie pool, always a hit among the young ones.

SPLASH AROUND. The kiddie pool, always a hit among the young ones.

The hotel is chockfull of activities that one can be forgiven if you don’t stray too far from the hotel during your stay. “For me it’s a destination, literally,” says Waterfront Cebu's gregarious general manager, Anders Hallden.  

“You don’t have to go out. You have the Duty Free Shop. You gamble a bit and when I lose my money I go to the gym to clear my head. When you’re hungry you fill your stomach. You don’t have to leave the property if you don’t want to.” continues Hallden.

But for those who are seeking more, whether for business or leisure, it is the ideal location as it is situated right in the middle of things. Cebu City’s IT park is practically across the street and is littered with coffee shops and convenience stores. For a more in-depth shopping experience, Ayala Mall is nearby and can be reached by foot (15 minutes) or by a car (15 minutes). Meanwhile, SM is a 15-minute taxi ride away. 

Cebu City, also known as the cradle of Christianity in the country is dotted with historical and religious attractions. Magellan’s Cross, the centuries-old Catholic icon is an easy 15-minute Uber ride from the hotel. From there, you may take a laidback walk hitting the Cebu Metropolitan Church and a couple of ancestral houses in the process. If you want to experience more of Cebu and its immediate environs, a tour operator is conveniently located at the hotel lobby to help you feed your travel bug.

MAGELLAN'S CROSS. A first trip to Cebu City is not complete without visiting Magellanu00e2u0080u0099s cross. The holy site is a mere 15-minute cab ride from WCCHC.

MAGELLAN'S CROSS. A first trip to Cebu City is not complete without visiting Magellanu00e2u0080u0099s cross. The holy site is a mere 15-minute cab ride from WCCHC.

HISTORY. Cebu City is peppered with so many historical sites including the late 17th century Yap-San Diego Ancestral House.

HISTORY. Cebu City is peppered with so many historical sites including the late 17th century Yap-San Diego Ancestral House.

Staying in Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino is made more special by its staff. The establishment might be physically huge but its people go out of their way to make you feel at home. Almost everyone I meet at the hallway seems to have a ready smile. The female chef who prepares eggs during the morning breakfast buffet remembered how I wanted my eggs from the day before and prepared it for me post-haste the following morning. Its gestures like this that truly makes a hotel stay memorable. – Rappler.com